Divination

Throughout history, Jews have been suspicious of manticism and clairvoyance, while still practicing many diviner's arts.

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Though condemned by the Talmud, the use of divining rods was also tolerated by the late Middle Ages. Most specifically, Jewish divination practices have all but vanished from modern communities, though some pietistic groups still practice the custom of serving the fingernails at Havdalah and/or employ bibliomancy.

Most Jews who are interested in such things today make use of techniques popular inthe general culture, such as horoscopes and Tarot cards. Jews can still be very attentive to serendipitous omens.

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Rabbi Geoffrey Dennis

Geoffrey Dennis is rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami in Flower Mound, TX. He is also lecturer in Kabbalah and rabbinic literature at the University of North Texas.